In a very bold move, France recently announced that it would ban the sale of all petrol and diesel powered vehicles there by the year 2040, according to the The Independent. France’s environmental minister, Nicolas Hulot, made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050.
The surprise statement came days after a shocking announcement by Swedish carmaker Volvo, that it would concentrate mainly on electric-vehicles by 2019, and that’s a mere 2 years away. Exactly a year ago, Norway also announced that it would ban the sale of all fossil-fuel burning vehicles by as early as 2025.
Now, in another astonishing announcement, Great Britain has seemingly jumped on the ‘global green bandwagon’ as well. The UK will “ban all petrol and diesel vehicle sales by 2040”. Apparently the sale of all fossil-fuel burning cars and lorries will be OUTLAWED by 2040.
There’s a bright side to this though. The ban does not include hybrid-powered vehicles, that use a combination of an IC (internal combustion) engine and an electric-motor. That’s fine for passenger cars, seeing as how every carmaker (showing incredible foresight perhaps) has at least one hybrid-powered car in its stable. However, insofar as commercial vehicles and motorcycles are concerned, it’s not looking too good for them. Fully-electric buses already ply a few major cities around the globe though, and town-only electric-scooters like the Treeletrik T90 are even available locally, so there will be options for the public.
The Future of the IC… is there one?
Could these announcements be the start of a global demise of the IC engine? We’ve seen the signs, as more and more carmakers introduce hybrids and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) into their model range, but an outright ban on anything running solely on an IC engine?
This move, now seemingly proposed by two major countries, would see an incredible upheaval in both the private sector, as well as the business sector. It would also mean the death of countless millions of IC alone vehicles in said countries, whereby even the disposal of them would take years, if that’s in the pipeline too.
The announcements only mention a ban on sales of new fossil-fuel only dependent vehicles, but nothing about the scrapping of all current IC engine’d cars, or is that a given? Hopefully not. Imagine all the classic cars that said countries would have to scrap, or relegate to museums only.
The biggest question remains though, while the world may be in dire need of it, is society ready for a world without the internal combustion engine, which has been a staple of our daily lives for more than a century? There’s no denying that advancements in the field of electric-only vehicles has greatly improved over the years, and while the vehicles continue to get better, society itself and the all-important infrastructure surrounding the peripheral requirements of an all-electric urban environment, are definitely struggling to catch up.
Sources: The Independent